James*, one of Alex’s clients at Justlife, was extremely nervous, quiet and fearful before attending the Ready for Work training and work placement. Through the scheme, Alex witnessed a huge change in James: “His attitude and confidence have completely transformed. From saying ‘I’m so thick, no-one wants me’, he is so excited to have the prospect of employment. He’s really grateful and can see the change in himself.”
“ “It’s an incredibly positive programme. It removes both perceived and practical barriers to work… It improves people’s confidence and attitude.” ”
Based in one of Manchester’s most deprived areas, Justlife offers an access point for local people who do not connect with other services. Through their job club, clients like James seek to overcome a range of stumbling blocks from a lack of confidence to extensive criminal records.
Once a client has been in Justlife’s job club for a while, Alex will discuss the opportunity available through Ready for Work. Alex explains: “Ready for Work is another string to our bow in terms of what we can offer to our service users, which provides proven, successful outcomes.”
The opportunities for her service users to move on and build skills keep her referring them to Ready for Work: “It’s an incredibly positive programme. It removes both perceived and practical barriers to work… It improves people’s confidence and attitude.”
As well as providing a valued opportunity for Alex’s clients, Ready for Work has even changed her own attitude to business and she now plans to speak with local businesses about Justlife in order to build relationships with companies in the surrounding area.
Alex encourages other agencies to contact Business in the Community about the Ready for Work programme: “It was very simple to set up the relationship and the referral process is easy”. But, this aside, it has been the chance for local agencies to work together that she has really valued – the relationships that have been built between BITC, JCP [Job Centre Plus], Justlife and the Salvation Army mean that the best outcomes are achieved for their clients.